Elena Valenzuela is a specialist in linguistics and bilingual language acquisition. Her research studies the processes underlying the development of second and heritage languages. Her main focus is to understand the mental and cognitive processes that guide language learning by examining language acquisition in multilingual contexts. Recently, she has begun to explore creativity and gamification in language learning.
“Professor Valenzuela is a source of inspiration not only to students, but also to other professors and other faculties and programs on campus.”
Colleague form the department
Since her arrival at the University of Ottawa in 2009, Professor Valenzuela has been co-director of the Language Acquisition Research Lab, where she trains and mentors students in research and project management. She is currently the director of the Spanish Graduate Program as well as director of the Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Social Innovation microprogram, which she helped create at the Faculty of Arts. Over the past six years, she has carved out an entrepreneurship niche at the Faculty of Arts. Together with a colleague in the Faculty of Social Sciences, she created a cross-faculty minor in social impact that will allow students across the University to gain expertise and experience in entrepreneurial activities that aim to create sustainable and socially oriented businesses. Professor Valenzuela has an excellent ability to connect and engage students through problem-based teaching methods, making the material relatable and helping students develop their creativity and problem-solving skills.
Congratulations Professor Valenzuela!
The Distinguished Teaching Award (APUO professor, regular appointment) recognizes a full-time professor in the Faculty of Arts who excels in teaching and whose contributions significantly enhance the student academic experience.
The recipient receives a professional development award of $5,000.